PRESS RELEASE – Wilkie Street Structure Fire

March 21, 2024


News release prepared by:

Battalion Chief Ron Lubke


At approximately 6:14 p.m. on March 21, 2024, The Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) and the Missoula Fire Department (MFD) were dispatched to 4756 Wilkie Street for a reported structure fire. The caller advised Missoula County 911 that the back porch and wall, of his mobile home, were on fire.


The first engine to arrive reported significant charring on the side of the home with light smoke showing and the occupants were evacuating the structure. Crews determined that the fire had burned the exterior of the home and a portion of the back porch. It appeared that the occupant had knocked down the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and a garden hose. The single wide mobile home was filled with smoke. While investigating the burned area, an active fire was discovered still burning underneath the home. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the remaining fire under the structure. Overhaul was performed under the home and in the burned exterior area, while additional crews ventilated the structure to remove the smoke.


MRFD responded to the incident with two engines, one ladder truck, one water tender and a command unit. MFD responded with one engine. A total of 15 fire fighters responded to the scene. There were no injuries to fire fighters, however the homeowner was evaluated by EMS personnel at the scene for exposure to smoke. MRFD received additional assistance at the scene from Missoula Emergency Services Ambulance, Missoula County Sherriff deputies and Northwestern Energy. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it appears to be accidental in nature. Damage is estimated between $5000.00 and $10,000.00, with an estimated  $100,000.00 of property saved.


The homeowner was napping at the time of the fire and was awakened by smoke detectors in the home. Had it not been for the properly installed and functioning smoke detectors this incident would likely have had a significantly worse outcome. MRFD would like to encourage everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes. Detectors should be placed on every level of the home, in all bedrooms and outside all sleeping areas.



For additional information on this incident or fire safety please contact MRFD at 406-549-6172.